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Print and Digital Version of Benchmark Series: Microsoft 365 Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint for 2021

About the Courseware

The Benchmark Series is designed for students to develop a mastery skill level in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. A graduated, three-level instructional approach moves students to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information. Multi-part, projects-based exercises build skill mastery with activities that require independent problem solving, which challenge students to execute strategies they will encounter in today's workplace.

Copyright: 2023
Authors: Nita Rutkosky; Audrey Roggenkamp, Pierce College Puyallup; and Ian Rutkosky, Pierce College Puyallup

Getting Started

Word Level 1

  1. Preparing a Word Document
  2. Formatting Characters and Paragraphs
  3. Customizing Paragraphs
  4. Formatting Pages and Documents
  5. Inserting and Formatting Objects
  6. Managing Documents
  7. Creating Tables
  8. Applying and Customizing Formatting

Word Level 2

  1. Applying Advanced Formatting
  2. Proofing Documents
  3. Inserting Headers, Footers, and References
  4. Creating Specialized Tables and Navigating in a Document
  5. Customizing Objects and Creating Charts
  6. Merging Documents
  7. Managing Building Blocks and Fields
  8. Managing Shared Documents

Word Level 3

  1. Designing with Styles
  2. Managing Merge Options
  3. Managing Macros
  4. Creating Forms
  5. Creating a Table of Authorities and Index
  6. Using Outline View
  7. Integrating and Sharing Documents and Data
  8. Customizing Word

Excel Level 1

  1. Preparing an Excel Workbook
  2. Inserting Formulas in a Worksheet
  3. Formatting a Worksheet
  4.  Enhancing a Worksheet
  5. Moving Data within and between Workbooks
  6. Maintaining Workbooks
  7. Creating Charts and Inserting Formulas
  8. Adding Visual Interest to Workbooks

Excel Level 2

  1. Advanced Formatting Techniques
  2. Advanced Functions and Formulas
  3. Working with Tables and Data Features
  4. Summarizing and Consolidating Data
  5. Using Data Analysis Features
  6. Exporting, Importing, and Transforming Data
  7. Automating Repetitive Tasks and Customizing Excel
  8. Protecting and Distributing a Workbook

Access Level 1

  1. Managing and Creating Access Tables
  2. Creating Relationships between Tables
  3. Performing Queries
  4. Creating and Modifying Tables in Design View
  5. Creating Forms
  6. Creating Reports and Mailing Labels
  7. Modifying, Filtering, and Viewing Data
  8. Exporting and Importing Data

Access Level 2

  1. Designing the Structure of Tables
  2. Building Relationships and Lookup Fields
  3. Advanced Query Techniques
  4. Creating and Using Custom Forms
  5. Creating and Using Custom Reports
  6. Using Access Tools and Managing Objects
  7. Automating, Customizing, and Securing Access
  8. Integrating Access Data


  1. Preparing a PowerPoint Presentation
  2. Modifying a Presentation and Using Help and Tell Me
  3. Formatting Slides
  4. Inserting Elements in Slides
  5. Creating Tables, SmartArt Graphics, Charts, and Photo Albums
  6. Using Slide Masters and Action Buttons
  7. Applying Custom Animation and Setting Up Shows
  8. Integrating, Sharing, and Protecting Presentations
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Drive Student Success with Cirrus™ 2.0

The Benchmark Series, powered by Paradigm’s Cirrus platform, integrates seamlessly with Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, and Moodle. Students and educators can access all course material anytime, anywhere through a live internet connection. Cirrus delivers students the same learning experience whether they are using a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Course content is digitally delivered in a series of scheduled assignments that report to a grade book, thus tracking student progress and achievement through Cirrus’s complete solution.

Dynamic Training

Cirrus course content for the Benchmark Series includes the following interactive assignments to guide student learning.

  • Watch and Learn Lessons 
  • Check Your Understanding Quizzes
  • Guide and Practice Tutorials 

Practice and Assessment Activities

The following practice and assessment activities for each chapter reinforce and assess student learning.

  • Hands on Activities
  • Exercises and Projects
  • Skills Exams
  • Concepts Exams
  • Unit-Level Projects
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Instructor Resources for the Benchmark Series

Cirrus tracks students’ step-by-step interactions, giving instructors visibility into students’ progress and missteps. Instructor resources Benchmark Series include:

  • Planning resources, such as syllabus suggestions, course performance objectives, chapter-based performance objectives, and student completion time estimates
  • Delivery resources, such as teaching tips, suggestions for using Cirrus demonstration elements in the classroom, and discussion questions
  • Assessment resources, including live and annotated PDF model answers for chapter work and review and assessment activities, rubrics for evaluating student work, Knowledge Check completion exercises, chapter-based concept exam item banks, and new Capstone Projects that allow students to demonstrate their creativity and skills mastery
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Ready to Learn More?

We'd love the opportunity to show you how the Benchmark Series and Cirrus build students' skills and eliminate many of the obstacles that can prevent them from being prepared for the first week of class and successful throughout the course.

Request a Presentation